My Chihuly Experience
Who is Chihuly?
Dale Chihuly is known around the world as an incredible glass artist. He was born in the state of Washington in 1941, where he grew up and graduated high school years later. Chihuly did not think that he wanted to pursue further education after high school, but was talked into going to college (where he would study interior design) by his mother. He ended up getting bored and dropping his studies to travel. At this point in his life, he was able to study art in Florence and the Middle East, which was when he figured out what he wanted to do. When he returned home, he went back to school to get his Bachelor of Arts degree in interior design. Throughout his life, Chihuly had been interested in glass. He would incorporate it into most of the artwork that he did, like weaving, and he even learned to blow glass during his first years of college.
Chihuly’s glass art can be seen in public places all around the globe. Because of his interest in glass art, Chihuly was able to build a career in the field. He has always been interested in architecture, too, which is why most of his works have an architectural feel or design. His work is more about making art for people instead of his own experience. One of his most famous quotes is, “I want people to be overwhelmed with light and color in some way that they’ve never experienced.”
Glass art is quite unique because it encourages an interactive viewing experience. Like any other sculpture, glass art is 3-dimensional, but it also has an effect from light. When light hits Chihuly’s works, they shine and glimmer as the light is reflected to the walls and floor around it, making viewing the art work an immersive experience. Currently, this artist has exhibitions in France, Czech Republic, Taiwan, United Kingdom, Netherlands, Japan, and multiple locations throughout the United States of America, including one right here in Colorado Springs. The Fine Arts Center, located right next to the Colorado College campus, has a beautiful exhibit up with a few Chihuly pieces. The museum has created a memorable viewing experience for anyone who enters the exhibition by employing light in the display of Chihuly’s objects.
My own experience working with Chihuly’s art was very interesting. Back in high school, my class studied glass art for a brief period of time. We reviewed many of Chihuly’s pieces and got to know his style and creative shapes. This made us want to attempt blowing glass, but because we did not have the resources to actually blow glass like Chihuly, my art teacher was creative and found a way for us to get a true Chihuly experience. Instead of using glass to create giant sculptures like Chihuly, we used tissue paper. My art teacher bought a large amount of colorful tissue paper for us, which we sculpted into strange shapes using glue. The glue would dry and the tissue paper would stay stiff in the designs we wanted. Using chicken wire, my art teacher set a base (in the shape of a sphere) for our sculptures and we attached our tissue paper designs all around the sphere. This experience was amazing. I enjoyed being able to make my own piece and put it together in a creative way like Chihuly would. It was fun to be inspired by his work and create our own “glass art.” –
Source: “Homepage.” Chihuly, 2018, www.chihuly.com/.